How Holistic Testing and Treatment Plans May Help Your Child Diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, OCD, or Mood Disorders?
Has your child been tested for or diagnosed with:
- ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)
- ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
- OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
- Developmental delays
- Tourettes Syndrome
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
These are serious life altering symptoms and conditions that don’t easily lend themselves to the current pharmaceutical model of medicine. Functional/Holistic doctors look at the following elements when meeting individual patients, then develop an appropriate testing and treatment plan.
What is a neurotransmitter?
A neurotransmitter influences the neuron in either one of three ways
A neuron is a nerve cell which is electrically excitable and that receives and transmits information through chemical and electrical signals. There are seven major neurotransmitters:
- acetylcholine works with the nervous systems to control functions from muscle contraction and heart rate to digestion and memory.
- norepinephrine involved in arousal, learning and mood regulation.
- serotonin contributes to well being and happiness.
- dopamine transmits signals between nerve cells (neurons), a deficiency in dopamine may cause movements to become delayed and uncoordinated. Alternatively, an excess of dopamine, causes the body to make unnecessary movements, such as repetitive tics.
- GABA sends messages from the brain to the nervous system, low GABA levels are linked with depression, anxiety, panic attacks and insomnia.
- glutamate is involved in most aspects of normal brain function including cognition, memory and learning.
- endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body.
Brain function can be disturbed if neurotransmitters are not functioning correctly.
It is now possible to test the function of neurotransmitters. Most medical doctors do not see the necessity of this testing and consider pharmaceuticals as the answer to treating a diagnosis without considering each patient individually. Unfortunately most of the toxic psychosomatic drugs themselves may cause a set of disturbing effects and do not handle the underlying cause of the symptom.
B. Muscle, tissues and cells (Amino Acids)
Our muscles, cells and tissues use amino acids to function they are the building blocks of protein in the body and they play a very crucial role in all biological processes, but especially in brain function and formation of neurotransmitters. Amino Acids also give cells their structure. Amino Acid testing identifies amino acid insufficiencies and imbalances, which occur due to inadequate dietary intake and/or malabsorption of dietary proteins. Certain patients, depending upon their symptom picture, should have amino acid testing.
C. Heavy Metals (Mercury, Lead, Aluminum, Copper, Cadmium, Arsenic)
These are the most commonly seen metals in heavy metal testing in patients, although this is not an exhaustive list. Heavy metal toxicity affects the brain and many tissues of the body. In recent studies they have noted that heavy metals may lead to dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS and many chronic neurological and brain based diseases. So, therefore in a patient with brain based symptoms, it is very necessary to test for heavy metals.
D. Chemical Toxins
Leukemia and other cancers, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease are some of the destructive syndromes known to be caused by chemical toxins. We use many chemicals in our home; they are in food, water, and in the air we breathe. My advice to patients I see especially with chemical toxicity is to reduce the burden of these chemicals on a daily basis.
- Choose non-toxic alternatives to household cleaners.
- When shopping if you don’t understand the names on the labeled ingredients don’t buy it.
- Buy organic where possible; an easy to find chart lists the fruits and vegetable that use the most toxic chemicals. If you buy these products organic, this will reduce the intake of chemicals.
- Wash all fruit and vegetables thoroughly before cooking or eating.
- Meat, if eaten, should be organic and grass fed.
- Do not drink water directly from the tap; if you can smell chlorine then its full of chlorine; drink spring or chemically filtered water.
- Filters for showers are available to remove chemicals. A whole house filter is the perfect choice so all water is chemical free.
It is possible to detox chemicals from the body, and this should be done regularly with the right products. A Holistic Doctor would be able to recommend the best possible way to test for and detox chemicals from your body.
E. Hidden Pathogens
What is a pathogen?
A pathogen or a germ is anything that produces disease in the body; including bacteria, virus, prion, protozoa, fungus or mycoplasma. Many standard blood tests are available to detect hidden pathogens in a patient.
F. Cellular micronutrients
Micronutrients are very important for our health; they are vital for growth, brain development and for our immune system and optimal health. We may think we are getting all the micronutrients our cells need to function, but the truth is we can be deficient to the very nutrients the body needs to function. The AllerCease™ technique tests if one is allergically rejecting micronutrients needed for optimal brain function and overall health. AllerCease™ testing determines whether micronutrients are seen as toxins to the body rather than fuel to the body. The AllerCease™ method of treatment easily treats these sensitivities.
G. Organic Acids
Chemical compounds that are products of metabolism which are excreted in urine are called organic acids. Metabolism are the chemical reactions by which the body builds new molecules and breaks down molecules to eliminate waste products and produce energy. Organic acids are acidic organic compounds, in which carbon and hydrogen are always present that may also contain elements of oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, and phosphorus as well. Organic acidemias are metabolism disorders that lead to the accumulation of toxic compounds. A number of organic acids directly or indirectly indicate deficiencies of critical vitamins such as vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, biotin, and others.
Organic acid testing offers a comprehensive metabolic snapshot of a patient’s overall health. One of the most important uses of the organic acids test is as an indicator of dysbiosis, an abnormal overgrowth of yeast and bacteria in the intestinal tract. Some of these bacterial byproducts from the intestine enter the bloodstream and may alter the metabolism of neurotransmitters such as dopamine. Abnormal toxic levels of yeast and bacteria can cause behavior disorders, hyperactivity, movement disorders and can affect energy levels and immune function. Organic acids testing is done with urine samples.
H. “Leaky Gut”
Also known as intestinal permeability, the small intestine functions as a digestive and absorptive organ for nutrients as well as a powerful immune and mechanical barrier against excessive absorption of bacteria, and food antigens. Chronic gastrointestinal imbalances and systemic disorders are associated with malabsorption and intestinal permeability (“leaky gut.”) Unfortunately, this condition is not generally recognized by the mainstream medical professions and health insurers. It is important to rule intestinal permeability through appropriate testing. Undiagnosed gastrointestinal imbalances, chemical sensitivities and allergens may lead to behavior issues in children.
I. Food/Chemical allergies
Allergies occur when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance. Your immune system produces substances known as antibodies. When you have allergies, your immune system makes antibodies that identify a particular allergen as harmful to your system, although the allergen may be harmless to others. Leaky gut or problems with the immune system may cause food allergies. Allergies and sensitivities may evolve over time, so often substances that were not a problem before, now cause severe distress. This happens for many reasons including;
- Changes in our body’s intestinal permeability.
- manufacturing of food with the introduction of GMOs and industrial farming techniques.
- Pesticides and other chemicals in our food our environment and our water have left our bodies unable to defend us effectively against them.
In office AllerCease™ testing is available for all patients.
J. MTHFR /Methylation defects/Kryptopyrroluria
MTHFR methylation defects happen due to a genetic defect. The MTHFR gene orchestrates the process of converting folic acid in certain foods to the active form methyl folate that the body can then use.
Kryptopyrroluria causes vitamin B6 and zinc to be blocked from use in the body, causing a deficiency in these and other vital nutrients. MTHFR and Kryptopyrroluria are easy to test for and manage holistically once diagnosed properly.
If you have decided that drugs and treating the symptom picture is not what you want for yourself or your loved one. Holistic/Functional medicine is a definite option for you. A holistic medicine approaches your or your loved ones symptoms from a totally different view point. Function and cause are the focus of attention to reverse the symptom picture.
Dr. Cushing D.C.,D.Ch.,C.N.C.,F.S.A.C